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Ag IT Matters

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October 23, 2017

Why should I buy your recommended Dell laptop when I found this 9” laptop for only $9.99?!?! Because the $9.99 unit is a Lite Brite Magic Screen. And, the $99.99 laptop deal sounds like a bargain until you actually explore the value instead of just the cost.

June 15, 2017

You work hard all week. We see it, we know it. We read about how hard you work on Facebook. You catch a rest and a recharge overnight, and a better recovery period over the weekend. We see that on Facebook, too. And then, after the rest and recharge, you are back at it… Your computer would benefit from this same routine that works for you!

June 15, 2017

We’re not even going to hide it. We’ll admit it right up front. This article is an almost identical copy/paste from the March issue of IT Matters. Why? Because it is that important!

March 17, 2017

The Fair: Where citizens of the commonwealth go to eat sausage sandwiches, get indigestion and eat antacids. The Fair: Where Extension professionals go to conduct shows and sales, get indigestion and eat antacids.

March 17, 2017

The recent blizzard notwithstanding, snow is melting fast with all this spring like weather. Even if you didn’t get much snow, we are looking forward to spring and your new summer workers. With some advanced planning, you can best be assured that your interns and program assistants will be able to use the computers and other IT resources on their start date or soon after.

December 9, 2016

Although Penn State officially closes for the Winter Break on December 23 and reopens on January 3, we know that many of your offices will be open and many of you will still be working during that time. If you have a service outage in your office, Ag IT staff will rouse up from our long winter’s nap in order to get you back into service!

December 9, 2016

Thinking of getting a new computer? Decided what model you want, which processor and how much memory? Think you are ready to order? Maybe not...

December 9, 2016

Although Penn State officially closes for the Winter Break on December 23 and reopens on January 3, we know that many of you will still be working. If you have a service outage in your office, Ag IT staff will rouse up from our long winter’s nap in order to get you back into service!

September 14, 2016

Here's your opportunity to test and critique two new Desktop Video Conferencing solutions for Penn State - Zoom and BlueJeans. Those of you who are casual and relaxed may wish to conference in BlueJeans, while those who are always on-the-move may prefer to Zoom in and out of Video Conferencing!

September 14, 2016

Why should I buy your recommended Dell laptop when I found this 9” laptop for only $9.99?!?! Because the $9.99 unit is an Etch-A-Sketch. And, the $999.99 laptop deal sounds like a bargain until you actually explore the value instead of just the cost.

September 14, 2016

Connecting to secure Penn State resources from a location outside of the Penn State network requires a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection – an added layer of security that protects data while enroute from one computer to another. Penn State currently supports two products to make this secure connection, but one service is taking advantage of the early retirement plan and going away soon. Is it the one you use?

July 26, 2016

Most Pennsylvanians think that fairs are fun places to enjoy food that medical professionals frown upon. Many people look forward to the fun and relaxation of the exhibits, shows and sales. We in Ag IT know that for many extension professionals it is one of the most stressful times of the year. It is no coincidence that market research shows a significant uptick in the sales of aspirin and antacids during fair season.

July 26, 2016

Summer thunderstorms can wreak havoc on roads and farms and landscaping and roofing, pets, and on a restful night’s sleep. It can also wreak havoc on your office technology!

July 26, 2016

Just as the fisherman is constantly at work to discover what bait will work to hook the fish he’s after, the unethical cyber-anglers are trying to find out which bait will trick you into revealing your password, your credit card or maybe your banking information. Protect yourself and Penn State; protect your family and your finances by exercising great caution when you get any email that is going to involve private information!

April 13, 2016

Daffodils, tulips and program assistant hiring – all sure signs of spring! We’ve got some tips to help you get computer access for your summer employees!

December 15, 2015

We realize that not all county offices follow the University Park calendar and so many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!

December 15, 2015

We realize that although the university is officially closed for the holiday break, many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!

December 15, 2015

Let’s play Jeopardy! Ag IT for $1,000, please Alex. Tens of thousands of dollars; thousands of meetings; hundreds of hours of planning; fifties of administrative approvals; tens of Ag IT staff members and ones of big bottles of aspirin. What is…..the completion of the county wireless project!

June 30, 2015

Worst. Passwords. Ever. Or at least in 2014. Splash Data, a leading provider of security applications and services compiles an annual list of worst passwords. While Penn State password security policies would forbid these worst passwords maybe it is time to review and maybe reset your password.

June 30, 2015

In the simple children’s card game one opponent asks, “Got any threes,” and the reply when having no threes is, “Go Fish!” In the complex adult cybercrime world the opponent asks, “Got any Security Information?” and the reply is “Go Phish!”

June 30, 2015

On May 15th officials at Penn State revealed that the College of Engineering has been the target of two sophisticated cyberattacks. These intrusions were not the work of the stereotypical TV and movie hackers in dark basements but rather by “well-funded and highly skilled cybercriminals” based in China. The lessons learned by our colleagues across campus will help the College of Ag Sciences, as well as the rest of the University, to better protect our data, our research, our clientele and our employees from a similar event.

June 30, 2015

If you are using the College’s Exchange email system then you are benefiting from the College’s Barracuda system. Like a barracuda fish patrolling the harbor looking for its next meal, the Barracuda Firewall constantly patrols incoming e-mail looking for spam and phishing attempts.

March 17, 2015

One of the many choices you will need to make when purchasing a new computer is which warranty option is best for you. In addition to warranty duration (3 vs. 5 years) you need to also consider how problems are diagnosed and when and how replacement parts are installed.

March 17, 2015

Scanning for personally identifiable information (PII) and removing it when found avoids embarrassment and expense and it also happens to keep you within university policy and guidelines!

March 17, 2015

As technology becomes more and more crucial to our program delivery – for both faculty at University Park or Educators in county locations – the loss of crucial services can be crippling. While AgIT is ready to help with service loss on weekdays from 8 until 5, what can you do after 5:00 or on weekends?

March 17, 2015

The long-time President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Horst Schultz, advises us, "Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction…you must improve." The AgIT Support Team has been asking you how we can improve, and we’re listening to you.

December 19, 2014

After tearing down the old calendar it is time to start a new one, and take a fresh look at some of the projects on the horizon.

December 19, 2014

As we tore off the last page of the 2014 calendar we thought back on some of the many projects that we’ve been working on. Like a To-Do list is it nice to look back and put checkmarks next to projects. Here are a few that impacted you.

December 19, 2014

Butterball offers a turkey emergency hotline for the holidays, though you may have to go through many Google Screens to find a hotline for fruitcake or eggnog emergencies. No need to use Google to find help for network and server emergencies in the College of Ag Sciences, though – that information is right here!

December 19, 2014

After tearing down the old calendar it is time to start a new one, and to take a fresh look at some of the projects on the horizon.

December 19, 2014

As we tore off the last page of the 2014 calendar we thought back on some of the many projects that we’ve been working on. Like a To-Do list is it nice to look back and put checkmarks next to projects. Here are a few that impacted you!

December 19, 2014

Butterball offers a turkey emergency hotline for the holidays, though you may have to go through many Google screens to find a hotline for fruitcake or eggnog emergencies. No need to use Google to find help for network and server emergencies in the College of Ag Sciences, though – That information is right here!

October 23, 2014

Halloween is an exciting time that comes but once a year. Scanning for PII is an exciting time, too – and it comes every three weeks!

October 23, 2014

New Year’s Day brings parades, traditional sauerkraut meals, football and …and…and the end of support for computers using Windows XP in the College of Ag Sciences!

October 23, 2014

Penn State stays at the forefront of athletic achievement by scouting for and recruiting new team members. The same is true in Ag IT!

February 18, 2014

If you are planning an important Adobe Connect webinar during the week of April 14th -- beware.

January 30, 2014

Although we’re still in the grip of Old Man Winter we know that spring is just around the corner, and soon you will be selecting and hiring your summer workers. With some advanced planning you can best be assured that your interns and program assistants will be able to use the computers and other IT resources on their start date or soon after.

January 30, 2014

As tax season approaches AgIT urges you to prepare and submit your taxes with pencils and paper - or on personally owned computers!

December 13, 2013

The Ag IT Help Desk will be closed between December 23rd and January 1st. Emergency support service will be available from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM every day except December 25th and January 1st. To reach emergency support, please call (814) 865-1229.

December 13, 2013

IBM Endpoint Manager allows AG IT to deploy software applications and updates in a timely and convenient manner to College of Ag Sciences computers. This no-cost University Service can be used by University units but the expectation is that energy savings will defray the costs of the service. It was once estimated that we can help save Penn State over $800,000 annually and, at the same time, feel good about reducing our carbon footprint!

December 13, 2013

Planning to retire in the near future? Starting a new employment adventure outside the College of Ag Sciences (CAS)? Have an employee who works for you leaving the College? If you answer Yes to any of these questions, please be aware that there are IT considerations that need to be addressed before leaving the College.

December 13, 2013

Have old computers or computer related equipment ready for disposal? If so, "there's an app for that". OK, so no, there isn't really an app for it, but there is a policy that you will need to follow.

December 13, 2013

Are you taking appropriate precautions to secure the integrity of your FileMaker databases?

October 11, 2013

Wireless access has been extended to most College of Ag buildings at University Park.

October 11, 2013

Some APC surge protectors previously purchased with EN computers have been recalled. Please take care to determine if you may be using a faulty unit.

October 11, 2013

Ag IT has identified a plan to address the sunset of the Windows XP operating system.

September 4, 2013

“Shred it All” is a good motto for the Association of Sauerkraut Makers, but a poor choice for Identity Finder users. When is the right time to shred, and when is it better to ignore, and why should you care?

September 4, 2013

Microsoft support for computers running the Windows XP operating system will end in April 2014. Users should begin making plans for upgrade or replacement of these computers to ensure they can safely be connected to the College or county networks.

June 3, 2013

Computers and other IT equipment that have reached the end of their useful life need to be disposed of properly, to secure any confidential data that may be stored on them. Ag IT has gathered recommendations that should be followed when disposing of IT equipment.

June 3, 2013

Users leaving the College of Ag Sciences are required to ensure that all work-related data has been appropriately transferred/shared with necessary colleagues and to notify Ag IT for account closure. We want to make the transition (to another job or retirement) as seamless as possible for all involved. Ag IT Consultants are available to assist users in making sure all work-related data is appropriately transferred and secured and also to assist users in collecting data that will need to be taken with them to their next job. To request assistants, please submit a Help Desk Request.

February 27, 2013

For the past several years, Ag IT has been able to work with staff in county extension offices to remotely “image” new and troublesome computers. In the interest of utilizing the greater IT resources offered at Penn State, Ag IT is starting to implement a new technology called the Sysman BuildKey to simplify and streamline the process of imaging computers.

February 27, 2013

In the past, computers set up for use in the College were configured so that the primary users were machine administrators. As administrators, users could install their own programs and make system-wide changes. Unfortunately, the increased threat of computers becoming compromised by malware (malicious software), has required us to make changes to the way users operate their computers and necessitated the implementation of a User Least Privilege model.

February 1, 2013

The PSU eBuy system has been updated to reflect the Spring bundles that Dell has discounted for PSU purchases.

February 1, 2013

Ag IT has recently changed the process by which Cooperative Extension computers will be purchased. Buyers will now be required to use Penn State’s eBuy system to generate quotes for desired computer configurations.

February 1, 2013

Ag IT is in the process of replacing all ACE clients with Wyse Terminals. Wyse Terminals offer many advantages over ACE clients, including faster boot time and greater ease in securing the devices. All ACE clients should be decommissioned by March 31, 2013.

December 10, 2012

Security Operations and Services (SOS) plans to release version 6.2 of Identity Finder (IDF) in mid-December. This release will fix many of the glitches that we have experienced with the previous version. In preparation for the new IDF version, Ag IT will be implementing changes to the way the software functions, to make it run more smoothly in our environment. For more information on the changes Ag IT is implementing to help with IDF scanning, continue reading.

December 7, 2012

In January, Security Operations and Services (SOS) will release version 6.2 of Identity Finder. This version performs a more comprehensive scan of computers, to ensure machines are free of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Due to the changes in what and how documents are scanned, scans may take significantly longer than with the previous version. For more information on the changes Ag IT is implementing to help ease this transition, continue reading.

December 7, 2012

In January, Ag IT will begin notifying users by email when their Ag Account password is about to expire. Users will be notified 30 days before their password will expire, again at 15 days before password expiration and then daily when the account is 7 days or less before password expiration.

December 6, 2012

The Ag IT unit has developed this eNewletter as a method to communicate relevant IT issues and projects to keep you informed of the work we are doing and future directions of IT in the college.